Santa Clara Council Member Anthony Becker appeared in court again on May 3 to answer to charges of perjury and violation of duty. Becker was assigned a public defender and then entered a plea of “not guilty.” The judge set a trial setting date for Aug. 2.
Following the hearing, Becker’s newly assigned public defender, Chris Montoya asked the media to allow the legal process to play out.
“In my experience, first impressions of the case are often wrong or incorrect. I’ve found it better to reserve first impressions so that the legal process can unfold,” said Montoya. “We stand firmly by the presumption of innocence, which Mr. Becker is entitled to.”
Deputy District Attorney Jason Malinsky, representing the DA’s Office in the case, also addressed the media. He was asked by the San Jose Spotlight if, given the unprecedented nature of the case, the District Attorney’s Office was treating Becker’s case differently. Malinsky said no.
“In the DA’s office, every case is important. Every victim that is a victim of a crime…we take very seriously every crime, be it a misdemeanor or all the way up to a murder,” said Malinsky. “We put resources into those cases; they’re all important for protecting the community.
“Look, this is a crime and it is something that is very serious,” Malinsky continued. “I’m part of a unit that’s dedicated to public integrity, law enforcement integrity. And so, we have put significant resources into investigating and prosecuting this case. That’s not to say that this is more important than, say, a murder or sexual assault. But we do take this very seriously.”
However, in a rare move by the District Attorney’s Office, Becker was served a search warrant at his home on the morning of the hearing.
The Weekly asked Malinsky about the search warrant and why it was served on the same day Becker was due in court. Malinsky said he could only comment on things of a public nature, either outlined in the indictment or discussed in court.
When asked if any other charges would be pending against Becker, Malinsky again, reiterated that he could only comment on items of a public nature.
When Becker’s lawyer was asked if serving a search warrant on a person’s day in court is common practice, his reply was simple.
“Generally, no,” said Montoya.
He told The Weekly he had not yet seen a copy of the warrant.